The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has said that it blocked 58 Nigerian medical doctors from leaving the country through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos on Friday via a chartered UK bound aircraft flight number ENT 550, with registration number SP-ES that flew in from London.A statement by the NIS spokesman, Mr. Sunday James, on Saturday said that only two of the medical doctors had valid visas for entry into the United Kingdom, while the 56 others had no valid visa.
The statement explained that the NIS had received no notification from the “Ministry of Health in Nigeria or any known Medical body” of the doctors’ itinerary.
“The NIS will not allow individuals or groups of well-educated Nigerians, who should know the procedures for travelling out of their country and the requirements to flout relevant laws, especially amid a coronavirus pandemic.
“This is to avoid refusal of entry and repatriation back to Nigeria amidst Covid-19 pandemic and spreading of same as well as flouting the Nigerian Government’s directive on restriction of international flights unless for essential reasons as approved by the government,” the statement said.
It added that the Comptroller General of the NIS, Mr. Muhammad Babandede, has advised Nigerians “to always adhere to travel protocols and ensure they have valid passports with valid visa to the country they intend travelling to before going to any airport, seaport or Land Border Control to avoid refusal to depart”.
According to the NIS, the chartered flight has already left the country without the doctors.